I can’t believe I’m focusing on the one glaring negative of an otherwise brilliant victory, but what the heck happened to the crowd at Yankee Stadium last night? The very first playoff game in new Yankees Stadium history, the first playoff game since the Yankees missed out on the postseason in 2008, the first playoff game for the restructured, 103 win NY Yankees: all these facts would make one think that you’d get a crowd as fired up as any in the last 10 years. MMMMmm not so much. Instead they get… robots -robots programmed to sit on their hands.
That was clearly the lamest playoff crowd I’ve ever seen. At first, I thought that maybe the telecast was deliberately damping down the crowd noise, but in the YES postgame, Kay and Flaherty bemoaned the disappointing and passionless crowd. The Yankees fall behind: no reaction. Jeter ties it up with a blast: no reaction. Matsui steps on the Twins’ neck with a monstrous opposite field blast: no reaction. Joba comes into the game: no reaction. Kay said that he kept waiting for the crowd to explode, but they never did. This just hours after I heard Tino Martinez lauding the Yankee Stadium playoff atmosphere as special and completely different than other venues. Is it possible that Yankee fans are no longer special? Do we just no longer have the passion we had 10 years ago to make the stadium shake from its foundation? What possible reason could there be for such an embarrassing showing? What do you guys think? Here are some possible explanations:
- The Yankee fans are spoiled. Like the Brave fans got after making the playoffs every year: the Atlanta fans simply lost interest. Yawn, another playoff game. You’d think that after missing a year, however, the fans would come back with renewed fury.
- The early start time. Too many late arrivals somehow messed everything up to the point where the crowd just never got going? Not sure I see the rationale in this, but it was mentioned on the YES postgame.
- Ticket pricing and distribution. The original tickets were not terribly overpriced, but they were pretty much impossible to get. Yet anyone scanning Craigslist or Stubhub will find thousands of obscenely overpriced seats for his or her taking. Rich fans and corporate fans = boring fans (in general – there are exceptions to the rule).
- Overconfidence. Maybe the Yankee fans are taking this series for granted and will show up against the Red Sox or Angels? If so, we should be embarrassed. You never know what can happen in this game – I guarantee you that the Twins fans will show up. It will be really humiliating for the whole country to see the difference between real fans and the passionless robots that filled seats in last night’s contest.
- Three words: Stepford Yankee Fans. Rabid, frothing at the mouth Yankee fans go into the stadium gates, are pulled aside by security, only to be replaced by an exact replica that is quiet, mannerly, cleans up after itself and purchases four times the concessions and memorabilia! Scary stuff, my friends.
What do you guys think the reason behind this shockingly poor showing is? Are you worried that it might become a trend or do you think it’s just recession related or something similar? Maybe the best fans are just saving their pennies for the biggest games? Also let us know if you were at the game and if you agree with what it seemed like to Kay, Flaherty and TV viewers.